2011 Animation + VFX Alumnus
- Program: Animation + VFX
- Employer: Sarofsky
- Position: 3D Generalist/Designer
Alex is a 2011 Animation + VFX Alumnus and a 3D Generalist/Designer at Sarofsky. We asked Alex a few questions and here’s what he had to say!
What do you like most about working as a 3D Generalist/Designer at Sarofsky?
There are many things I really enjoy working at Sarofsky, but if I had to nail down one, it’d be the diverse amount of opportunity there is. I never know what “hat” I’ll be wearing the next week whether it’s 3d, compositing, designing, scripting, or learning a new tool. It can be very challenging at times, but I enjoy it. And being surrounded by very talented individuals has been an amazing experience.
What piece of advice do you have for TFC candidates currently job searching?
Stay active in the community, continually challenge yourself to learn new things, and don’t be shy or afraid to ask for advice. Look around for meetups in your city relevant to your industry, this will give you exposure to the local community of artists. A few that come to mind in Chicago are C4D, Nuke, and Houdini. The technology for our industry is constantly changing and evolving. Being able to adapt to new trends and software is a must. That’s not to say you have to have practical experience with every application, but just being “aware” of what else is out there can help going into a new challenge. Lastly, don’t be afraid to use your network for help and I don’t mean just for job referrals. There were a lot of things I learned after school regarding freelancing like day rates, challenging bids, and general networking. Finding someone who has been in the industry and is willing to share their experience, as well as give you feedback, can be invaluable.
How did your experience at TFC help you join your industry?
Tribeca Flashpoint gave me the exposure to the latest tools and workflows in my industry. The environment they provided to collaborate and learn with fellow classmates has been applicable to working industry.
What would you look for if an opportunity to potentially hire TFC graduates come along?
In my experience representing Sarofsky at job fairs in Chicago. It’s always more impressive when a candidate is prepared and knowledgeable about the work a company produces, not just the recent work. And bonus if they took the time to understand the type of company it is. Most of the time, you can find out what’s important to that company by checking the social media posts (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc).
What was your favorite thing about TFC?
I think the one thing I really appreciated was the culture at Tribeca Flashpoint. Being surrounded by like-minded individuals, who were eager to learn and create something “cool”.
Name one thing that made you choose TFC over other colleges?
While the location was certainly one of the key factors, it was the school’s very different approach to education for digital media arts that I found appealing. Instead of a traditional 4-year school, they offered a two-year program with an exclusive focus on digital media arts. And tailoring the gen-ed classes and curriculum to help bridge the disconnect between the relevancy of the class subject matter and our industry. I’m glad I had the opportunity to experience the school in those early years and be surrounded by a talented group of instructors.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
Knowing what I know now, and if I had access to the number of online resources related to 3d/vfx. I’d still attend a 2-year technical school and in addition, take online courses. The school would provide a good foundation for familiarity with the industry and a network afterward. The online classes would allow sharpening skills outside of the classroom as well as cover topics that were not covered in school.